Sunday, June 14, 2009

What I'm Reading

Comedy, Bullies, and American Politics - by Rosslyn Smith

This has got to be one of the most well written articles I've read in some time. The author ties together several threads - comedians who have become bullies, mysoginists, and conservatives who refuse to defend themselves. Here's a snippet:

For years now much of our comedy has gotten increasingly mean. It laughs less and less at the contradictions inherent in the human condition and increasingly picks out and personalizes targets to demean and humiliate. In the world of the comedian-cum-bully, wit has been replaced with name calling and the wry irony of the nerdish observer with the swagger of the schoolyard bully who decides who is among the in group and who are "them", the outcasts to be made the butt of every mean spirited politically correct joke. Name calling is the stock in trade of the bully. So is telling the target who protests, "What's a matter, can't you take a joke?"

The smothering embrace of nanny government - Mark Steyn

Speaking to an American audience, most of whom know not a thing about socialized medicine except what Michael Moore has told them, Steyn draws comparisons with things the readers will likely be familiar with. Here's a segment:

When President Barack Obama tells you he's "reforming" health care to "control costs," the point to remember is that the only way to "control costs" in health care is to have less of it. In a government system, the doctor, the nurse, the janitor and the Assistant Deputy Associate Director of Cost-Control System Management all have to be paid every Friday, so the sole means of "controlling costs" is to restrict the patient's access to treatment. In the Province of Quebec, patients with severe incontinence – i.e., they're in the bathroom 12 times a night – wait three years for a simple 30-minute procedure. True, Quebeckers have a year or two on Americans in the life expectancy hit parade, but, if you're making 12 trips a night to the john 365 times a year for three years, in terms of life-spent-outside-the-bathroom expectancy, an uninsured Vermonter may actually come out ahead.

Nonsense has me incensed - Lorrie Goldstein

Goldstein has devoted a lot of his recent career to carefully researching the entire issue of so-called global warming and the politics behind it. He starts off his latest piece as follows:

Let me put an argument to you which will enrage the entire congregation of The First Church of Global Warming.

That is, that man-made climate change does not pose an existential threat to humanity.

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